It seems when Netflix says "early 2012" it really does mean early 2012, not "before April" -- Netflix is now live and kicking in the UK and Ireland. The streaming service will set you back a pretty reasonable £5.99 a month, and there’s even a free one-month trial to let you test it out.
It’s unknown what the difference in content is between the Netflix library we’re seeing and what's available in the US at the moment; if you sign in with a US account in the UK you get a message about “some of the content being different while travelling”, so I'm assuming there must be differences like there are between the US and Canadian Netflix. At first glance it looks to have a sizable content stash for you to work your way through though, including a load of British stuff from the likes of the BBC, ITV and Channel 4:
"At launch, Netflix is offering films and TV programmes from All3Media, the BBC, CBS, Channel 4's 4oD, Disney UK & Ireland, ITV, Lionsgate UK, MGM, Miramax, Momentum Pictures, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox and Viacom International Media Networks."
Apart from using a PC or Mac, you can stream Netflix to a load of devices too, with the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 all supported; so if you’ve got a console under your TV you’re already good to go. Samsung’s Smart TVs; some of LG’s home theatre systems and Blu-ray players, and “Smart TV adapters” (Roku, WD TV Live and the Philips HD media player) are on the list too. But for the icing on the cake, both iOS and Android devices are also catered for meaning you can get your Netflix streaming wherever you have Wi-Fi; that’s in bed with an iPad for me.
Spotify-style Facebook integration is there for those that want to share with their friends that they’ve been watching 30 episodes of Dirty Sanchez when they should have been working -- I’ll be turning that off immediately then.
Curiously absent from Netflix’s supported device list is the Apple TV, which is a tad strange considering it’s been available in the US for ages, but maybe it’ll be along a little later when Apple gets its arse in gear. Netflix certainly compares favourably to Amazon’s LoveFilm pricing too -- to get unlimited streaming you have to pony up for the unlimited “2 out at a time” package at £9.99 a month. At any rate, considering Netflix will set you back just £6 a month for unlimited streaming and a free trial is on offer, it’s worth checking out for a month at the very least. Your move Amazon. [Netflix]